Mohammad Ahsan Papu
Muhammad Ahsan Papu is a master musician who plays a range of hand-made wooden flutes. He has immense command over a wide range of music from folk to eastern classical to progressive rock and is a stalwart of the recording and film industry in Pakistan, having played in it for a period of four decades. The range of artists who he has lent his melodies and solos to include legends like Madam Nur Jehan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to folk artists such as Ata Ullah Esa Khelvi and Alam Lohar. He has been with the band since it’s inception in 2000 and is known for his memorable solos and his versatility both as a composer and soloist. Papu Sahib, as he is known in the film industry, has that rare ability of playing melodic parts and solos in which not a note is wasted and each phrase is perfectly suited to the musical passage at hand. He has been featured as a judge on music shows and his seniority and experience makes him an indispensable asset to the professionals he engages with.
Gino Banks has been playing the drums since he was 8 years old and is the son of Louiz Banks, India ‘s legendary jazz pianist and composer. Gino is at the cutting edge of the jazz fusion circuit and his impeccable command over a variety of playing styles makes him one of the most in demand drummers around. He has recorded and performed with artists like Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia and Ustad Rashid Khan to Bollywood stars Shankar Ehsaan Loy as well as with jazz artists such as Leni Stern, George Brooks and Angela Hagenbach, amongst many others. Gino’s application and dedication to the drumset has earned him a formidable reputation amongst his peers and he is looked up to by veterans and aspiring drummers alike. The Indo-Pak line up of Mekaal Hasan Band actually came about with Gino’s suggestions as to the best members for the band’s unique style of music and his contribution and support has enabled the group to achieve a new level of sophistication and range. His remarkable talent has seen endorsement deals with percussion and pro audio companies like Audix, Yamaha, Pearl, Zildjian,Evans, Vic Firth and LP.
Sheldon D’Silva stands out in his generation of great musicians as an immensely versatile artist, who can anchor a rhythm section with precision and groove, walk bass lines in a trio formation with delicacy and verve, or take centre stage as a dynamic,innovative and exciting soloist. His discipline and dedication have made him one of the busiest musicians around and it is no wonder that he can be seen playing or recording with musical heavyweights like Ustad Zakir Hussain to Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, to artists such as Trilok Gurtu, Gutherie Govan and Mike Stern. Sheldon is also a busy session player in the film industry, having contributed his memorable bass lines to many songs and arrangements. His unstoppable talent has led him to be signed up as an international endorsee for Warwick basses and D’Addario strings and he has represented India as a musical ambassador to the John F Kennedy Center, Washington DC.
Sharmistha Chatterjee is a highly versatile singer, having trained as a Hindustani Classical vocalist. She works actively as a playback singer for Bollywood, TV and the advertising industry.
Miss Chatterjee’s range of singing and mastery over different musical styles has led to her participation on recordings and performances with some of the most sought after artists in the world of jazz and fusion. She has recorded and performed with a range of artists, from percussionist Airto Moreira to drummers Danny Gottlieb and Ranjit Barot to Reggie Hamilton to Pt Anindo Chatterjee and many others. She currently also performs live with Louiz Banks and Ranjit Barot and as the lead singer in Mekaal Hasan Band, brings her command over classical singing and world music to the band’s wide range of writing and sound.